Whole-of-government approach will create safer communities in the Territory

The Northern Territory Government’s establishment of a new office to coordinate government and non-government sectors is a welcome announcement that will improve outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and their families, says Jesuit Social Services.

“As we wait for the final report and recommendations of the Royal Commission later this week, which we hope will lead to sustained and meaningful change not only in the Territory but across the country, we welcome this announcement by the NT Government to help coordinate reform of the Territory’s child protection and youth justice systems,” says Jesuit Social Services Acting CEO Sally Parnell.

The new Reform Management Office (RMO) has been funded for four years to coordinate the NT Government’s reforms in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

The office will oversee projects across the Territory that focus on improving outcomes for vulnerable young people requiring, or at risk of requiring, child protection or youth justice services, and play a key role in ensuring the rollout of initiatives are communicated to the public.

“Working to create safer communities requires a whole-of-government approach, and effective collaboration between government and non-government organisations as well as the broader community,” says Ms Parnell.

“The establishment of a RMO will help facilitate this, and comes on the back of a range of positive investments by the NT Government into early intervention services as well as rehabilitation and diversion programs.

“These investments show a strong commitment to preventing vulnerable children and young people from having contact with the justice system in the first place, and helping them take responsibility for their actions, address the underlying issues behind their offending and steering them away from contact with detention wherever possible if they do have contact.

“We look forward to the final recommendations of the Royal Commission on Friday and hope they will result in sustainable reform to support vulnerable children, young people and families and create safer communities for all.”

Media enquiries – Kathryn Kernohan, 0409 901 248 or kathryn.kernohan@jss.org.au